~The partnership will support Canadian Black filmmakers
at international film festivals and TV markets~
TORONTO, ON – September 13, 2023 – Paramount+ Canada and the Black Screen Office (BSO) are pleased to announce a significant partnership to support the Black Creators Festival Initiative. As part of Paramount’s long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, both on-screen and off, this collaboration expands the scope of the ongoing program, offering vital support to talented Black Canadian content creators seeking international exposure.
The Black Creators Festival Initiative has been a crucial platform for Black Canadian content creators, providing opportunities to showcase their work at renowned international film festivals and TV markets. With this new partnership, the initiative enhances its ability to support selected participants by providing festival accreditation, travel and accommodation assistance, and valuable pre-festival guidance to empower these creators during these important industry events. The program launched in May 2022 and has since supported 60 Black Canadian creators, playing a pivotal role in advancing their careers.
In previous years, the Black Creators Festival Initiative has supported participants at MIP Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, TIFF, Content Canada, European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, Cannes, and more. This support facilitates connections with industry stakeholders such as buyers, producers, distributors, and financiers, creating new opportunities for Black Canadian content creators.
“The world needs more diverse storytelling from Canada and that is only possible by supporting and developing our incredible home grown talent,” said Doug Smith,SVP Streaming & Content Licensing Paramount Global, Canada. “Under the leadership of Joan Jenkinson, the Black Screen Office is a crucial resource and we are thrilled to be their partner in the Black Creators Festival Initiative to support talent whose stories will entertain, educate and inspire audiences around the world for years to come.”
Joan Jenkinson, Executive Director of the Black Screen Office, expressed her appreciation for Paramount +'s involvement, stating, "We are pleased to welcome Paramount + as a partner in our mission to support Black Canadian content creators. Their generous contribution underscores the importance of diversity and inclusion in the industry. Together, we can continue to promote the voices and talents of our community on a global stage. Thank you, Paramount +, for joining us on this journey."
This initiative is closely connected to the mission of Paramount Global's Content for Change initiative, which seeks to counteract narratives that enable bias, stereotypes, and hate using the power of our content, the creative supply chain that powers it, and the culture that underpins everything we do.